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CISLAC Demands Independent Probe into $5 Million Bribery Allegation

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The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Contact for Transparency International (TI), has expressed concern over the committee set up by the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate the recent $5million bribery allegation attributed to the State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as displayed in a widely shared video clip. This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)

While CISLAC commended the effort and ability of the Kano State House of Assembly at setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged bribery, Rafasanjani said “we are worried that the outcome of such investigation would not command public trust and credibility respect except if handled by independent and competent ICT professionals with track record of integrity.

“We are confident an independent inquiry outside the instrumentality of Kano State governance structure will to a large extent assure Nigerians of fearless fact-findings on the true nature of the video clip in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s readiness to combat corruption within and outside the ruling party.We must, therefore, reiterate that anything short of an independent investigation would seem stage-managed before the public” Rafasanjani said.

Rafsanjani said that we are also not unaware of the infringement of human rights, intimidation and harassment of the whistle-blowers and citizens who stepped out to peacefully protest this allegation against the Governor. We find this disheartening and reiterates our persistent demand for the adoption of a Whistle-blower Protection Law Citizens’ right to freedom of association and expression should in no way be muzzled in this issue.

And called on the President and the Inspector General of Police to guarantee the rights of the people for a peaceful protest and ensure lives are secured.

We call for the Governor to immediately step aside to allow high level transparency, accountability and rule of law in the process of the investigation and prevent possible influence of the “fact-findings”. This will guarantee fairness and discourage undue interference in the investigation.

Rafsanjani also call on the National Assembly and anti-corruption agencies to live up to the expectations and trust placed in them by Nigerians in ensuring perpetrators of corrupt practice are brought to book, while guaranteeing adequate protection for whistle-blowing effort through enabling policies implementation and transition into legislation.

“We also call on the Ruling Party to stay silent on the issue if the party is really going to be believed that it is fighting corruption” he said.

Rafsanjani assured that CISLAC remains committed to monitoring the government at all levels to ensure that she fulfils her promises to the citizens of our great country.

Politics

1.6m Votes’ Claim: PDP, Atiku Have Slipped Into Post-Election Depression, Hallucination

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Following the outcome of the Presidential Election, during which a vast majority of Nigerians reaffirmed their unshaken belief in President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to steer the affairs of the country for another four years, we have watched in disbelief and utter amusement how the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have engaged in series of circus shows to cheer up their crestfallen and disillusioned members. This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary All Progressives Congress (APC),Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu on Wednesday.

Onilu said while the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians.

He noted that , Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.

Onilu stated that after weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the Election Tribunal. However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the Election Tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicated he ‘won’ the Presidential Election by 1.6million votes.

He said further that a few questions would suffice: Is this phantom figure of 1.6million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?

“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the “INEC server” as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardizing the INEC database and internal storage system. We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election” he said.

Onilu reminded the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.

And called on the INEC and the security agencies to be on red alert to ensure that Atiku and the other desperate characters in the PDP are not able to execute their evil plans.

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Bauchi PDP tasks INEC on justice and fairness

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bauchi State, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the Laws of the land to be fairn and just to all political parties.

Alhaji Hamza Akuyam, the State Chairman of the PDP made the call while reacting to a Court Order on collation of election results in Bauchi on Tuesday.

He said INEC should be seen to be a body that respected the laws of the land.

“The decision of INEC to jettison resumption of collation of the gubernatorial election results from Tafawa-Balewa LGA is very unfortunate and uncalled for despite the court order.

“Considering the provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, no court can stop INEC from performing its function in relation to electoral processes,” he said

Akuyam pointed out that if the court would refuse to grant the request to stop INEC in Adamawa State on the issue of election, he saw no reason why that of Bauchi state should be different.

“Are we having a different law to determine the same issue in every state?” he queried.

He added that he PDP would not allow the matter to just go like that.

He however urged PDP supporters in the state to remain law abiding and orderly, assuring that no one could take away the mandate given to the party by the teeming people of the state.

He expressed optimism that no matter how long it took for the party to pursue the case, it would do so.

“The point is that we won the election in the state, results have been collated and all that remains to be done is to declare and announce the result. All we are waiting for is the completion of the process .

“They can only prolong the process but it cannot stop it because we won the election and it is very glaring.

“The vehicles of the thugs who disrupted the collation process in Zwall were handed over to the police, yet nothing has been done about them,” akuyam said.

Our correspondent recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja stopped INEC from going on with the collation of the gubernatorial election results from the Tafawa-Balewa LGA, Bauchi, earlier scheduled to be re-collated on Tuesday.

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Nabena exposes fresh plot to hijack 9th NASS leadership by Saraki, PDP

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…Urges APC to rollout zoning arrangements

As the political scheming for the leadership of the incoming National Assembly heightens, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Yekini Nabena has alleged a fresh move by the outgoing Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus to decide the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.

The plans, according to Nabena is also in tandem with what he called “Otta farm”, warning his ruling party to urgently rollout the zoning arrangements to avoid the repeat of what happened in 2015.

Both incumbent Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged Senate President and Speaker against the party’s wish in the outgoing 8th National Assembly.

Speaking with newsmen Tuesday in Abuja, Nabena alleged that the outgoing Senate President and his party (PDP) have devised plans to ensure that there loyalists take control of the legislative arm of government.

Nabena said: “The outgoing Senate President and the PDP caucus have begun surreptitious move to lure some new APC lawmakers with juicy committee position in return for their support for the PDP choice for the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Already, Saraki’s henchman, Dino Melaye and some other returning PDP federal lawmakers have scheduled meetings with some APC lawmakers from Wednesday to Sunday in a yet-to-be announced venue.”

While calling for urgent intervention by the APC leadership, the Deputy spokesman stated that “It is important that the APC leadership meet and urgently rollout a fair zoning arrangement to ensure that we produce our preferred candidates for all leadership positions in the incoming National Assembly.

“Since Saraki lost his bid to return to the Senate and control of his home state, Kwara, he has devised a plan to ensure that he influences the choice of the incoming National Assembly Leadership. This is Saraki’s last-ditch effort to remain politically relevant.”

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